Being a professional in any sport is challenging to say the least, but tennis is one of the most challenging. Tennis is a solo sport where the burdens fall to only one player. That said, playing a solo sport teaches valuable lessons in self reliance and can be one of the most rewarding sports to play, especially at the professional level.
- Skill level:
Start playing tennis at a very young age. Most professional tennis players started playing as early as 6 or 7 years of age. It takes an incredible amount of dedication to play professionally and starting at an early age is just one aspect of this dedication. Be aware that starting to play a sport this early in some children can adversely effect their social growth. There are numerous examples of child prodigies that flame out before they are even teenagers.
Hire a tennis coach. If this can be afforded, it is the best way to get the personal one-on-one coaching that is needed in this highly competitive sport. Also, tennis coaches sometimes have contacts that can open more doors to better tourneys and marketing of the player.
Become a member of the USTA (United State Tennis Association). When a person joins the USTA it gives them access to all of their tourneys and experience in the sport. If the child plays well in the tourneys then they can become ranked. Once ranked they get invites to the bigger tourneys and eventually work their way to the paid professional ranks.
Enter as many tennis tournaments as possible to gauge the talent level of the player, even if these tourneys are not USTA (United State Tennis Association) certified. The more practice in a tourney setting the better.
Practice, practice, and then practice again. This may seem cliché but practice is one of the only ways to get better at a sport. And in tennis this is particularly true. One advantage of tennis is that it is a solo sport and a player does not have to rely on others to be able to practice. So grab the racquet and start practicing right now!